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  • mcprison mcprison Dec 10, 1999 3:51 PM Flag

    It's a miracle!

    As reported in Bakersfield

    CALIFORNIA CITY � Three months after installing its first
    guards, the private prison here has accepted its first
    group of inmates, ending months of speculation about
    who would occupy its beds.

    Sixteen federal
    inmates from the U.S. Marshal district in Los Angeles
    were transferred to the California City Correctional
    Center on Wednesday, said Corrections Corp. of America
    West Coast President David Myers. More are expected in
    the weeks and months to come.

    Nashville-based company is one of the world's largest private
    prison companies and has spent more than $100 million to
    build the 2,304-bed prison in California City.

    The company expected the state Department of
    Corrections to grab at the chance to send some of its inmate
    overflow to the prison, which was built on speculation and
    overlooks this high desert town with a population of almost

    Instead, the state has taken steps to block the prison
    from accepting state prisoners. The company has turned
    to county and federal governments for possible

    Myers said the Federal Bureau of Prisons is considering
    a proposal from CCA to house some of its inmates

    The bureau is looking for 7,500 beds, and
    if it accepts CCA's proposal, it could decide to use
    all 2,304 beds. A decision is expected sometime in
    2000, said Myers.

    Myers said the marshal's
    office is aware it may need to move its inmates if the
    Federal Bureau of Prisons accepts the company's

    As part of its bid proposal to the bureau, CCA is
    adding 10,000 square feet of administrative space to the
    California City prison, which would provide office and
    courtroom space.

    All of this is good news for Mayor
    Larry Adams, who has said the prison will bring
    much-needed jobs to the city, where unemployment is about
    12.5 percent. But he's unhappy about how long the
    process took.

    "I'm disappointed in some of our
    legislators who are at the beck and call of the prison union.
    I expected the state to bend over backwards and
    reach out to this prison. Perhaps I was naive and
    didn't realize how much money affects decision-making,"
    Adams said.

    California City Correctional Center
    Warden Dan Vasquez said the 16 inmates are just the
    beginning. Already he's taking another look at the 2,800
    applications he's received, preparing to add to the current
    staff of about 95.

    "I want to make sure we're
    not overlooking local talent," said Vasquez.

    "This is just the beginning."

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